Thursday, July 3, 2014

'Jimi: All is By My Side' hits theaters same day as OutKast #ATLast

Posted By on Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 4:04 PM

  • XLrator Media

The official trailer has dropped for the Jimi Hendrix biopic starring Andre 3000 as the guitar legend. And according to the Shadow and Act film blog, XLrator Media has set a Sept. 26 theatrical release date - which means Atlanta-based OutKast fans who thought they were purchasing tickets to the first homecoming show on Sept. 27, before a second show was added for Sept. 26, now have something of a consolation prize. Coincidence or not, we'll take it.

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Friday, June 13, 2014

FOR FILTH! A Night of Queer Shorts seeks submissions

Posted By on Fri, Jun 13, 2014 at 1:29 PM

  • Courtesy of Legendary Children Atlanta and Out On Film

What do "queer, Southern, and crazy" all have in common? (This isn't a trick question.)

The answer can be found in the return of the Out On Film Festival, running Oct. 2-9 at the Midtown Art Cinema. The festival is collaborating with Legendary Children Atlanta to present a night dedicated to experimental cinema that is all of the aforementioned adjectives, per the press release. FOR FILTH! A Night of Queer Shorts will provide a space for up and coming queer filmmakers to showcase their work and push the boundaries of what people expect to see from the South.

The Oct. 9 event will be hosted by a number of favorite Atlanta drag performers from Midtown to East Atlanta. The filmmakers involved are all from the American South, and each film is required to have been filmed in at least one of the Southern states.

"We hope that For Filth! will be a platform for many queer, Southern artists to show work that is often ignored or under-appreciated," Jon Dean, Legendary Children organizer, said. "We've got a lot of surprises in the works for Out On Film; I hope [the audience is] ready! It will definitely be an interesting night full of great films, drag, and pure filth!"

Film submissions will be accepted through Aug. 15. For more information, visit the Facebook event page.

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'How To Train Your Dragon 2' answers call of the wild

Posted By on Fri, Jun 13, 2014 at 10:46 AM

WHO LET THE DRAGONS OUT? Toothless (saddled at center) and his pals in How To Train Your Dragon 2
  • Courtesy of DreamWorks
  • WHO LET THE DRAGONS OUT? Toothless (saddled at center) and his pals in 'How To Train Your Dragon 2'
From the legends of St. George to games with 12-sided dice to the latest computer-animated feature films, dragons have enduring power as mythic figures. At recent movies, The Hobbit's Smaug, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, becomes an iconic figure of arrogance and greed, while Godzilla's fire-breathing reptile embodies the power of elemental power of nature.

The title beasts of DreamWorks' How To Train Your Dragon films seldom go for such archetypal status. Particularly in the new film, How To Train Your Dragon 2, they approximate domesticated animals, serving as winged steeds for the boisterous Vikings. Toothless, the dragon of our hero Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), behaves like nothing so much as a cheerful dog, prone to chase sticks and slobber over his human best friend.

Hiccup and Toothless bridged human/dragon hostilities in the first How To Train Your Dragon, possibly DreamWorks' best animated film to date. (Expect the follow-up to be the summer's biggest money-maker.) The opening scene of the sequel, set five years later, establishes how completely dragons have been integrated into Viking society with a Quidditch-like airborne competition, only one that uses nonplussed sheep instead of golden snitches. For a while, How To Train Your Dragon 2 seems contest to coast on slapstick gags involving the hilariously grotesque creatures, but then it blindsides the audience with a startling, surprisingly powerful plot twist.

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Critic's Notebook: Top 5 Picks for the Out on Film Festival

Posted By on Wed, Oct 2, 2013 at 8:01 AM

The 26th annual Out on Film Festival begins on Thursday, October 3, and runs through Thursday, October 10, with screenings at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema. It's a pretty massive event, running for an entire week, featuring close to 50 films plus discussion panels, artist appearances, and parties, all of them celebrating the presence and contributions of LGBT people in cinema.

Everyone's bound to have their own picks for what they think will be the highlights of this year's event (for a complete schedule visit the website), but here are my own Top Five critic's picks for 'best of the fest.'

5. I Am Divine, Saturday, October 5, 7:05 pm

This year's festival won't just be fabulous, it will be Divine. This 2013 documentary traces the life of chubby misfit Harris Glenn Milstead who transforms into the outrageous drag queen Divine, star of such John Waters' cult classics as Pink Flamingos, Polyester, Hairspray, and Female Trouble. Producer Eric Weber will be in attendance.

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Friday, August 16, 2013

'Kick-Ass 2's' hero satire proves both too much and not enough

Posted By on Fri, Aug 16, 2013 at 9:09 AM

DYNAMIC DUO: Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloe Grace Moretz in Kick-Ass 2
  • Courtesy of Marv Films
  • DYNAMIC DUO: Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloe Grace Moretz in 'Kick-Ass 2'
Jim Carrey wasn't just talking out of his butt when he withdrew his support from the dark superhero comedy Kick-Ass 2 in June. With a nod to the December 14 Sandy Hook massacre, he announced, "I did Kick-Ass a month before Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence. My apologies to others involved with the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart."

Ironically, the blood-drenched sequel doesn't glorify gun violence to the extent of 2010's original Kick-Ass, which featured tween vigilante Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) blasting away at bad guys with handguns. Both Kick-Ass films unmistakably aim for an over-the-top, cartoonish level of carnage, but even a fan of intense action movies might feel ambivalent toward Kick-Ass 2. The film presents itself as an outlandish satire while paying lip service to the idea of showing "the real world with real consequences. Despite its provocative title, Kick-Ass 2 manages to be at once excessive and wishy-washy.

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Friday, July 26, 2013

ATLwood: Drew Barrymore loves Antico pizza

Posted By on Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Filming Updates:
- Reese Witherspoon, who had a great time when she was in Atlanta earlier this year, has returned. Jennifer Brett says that "perhaps" it's to shoot additional material for her film The Good List.
- Honey Boo Boo and clan were at the Civic Center taping an upcoming episode of Family Feud against their Cake Boss colleagues. "Well wish us good luck," the family wrote on its official Facebook page, where it also announced it will be supporting GLAAD in the competition. Rodney Ho has a recap. (Spoiler: Honey Boo Boo herself eats peanut butter on bread.)
- No one tell NeNe, but her former RHoA cast mate and fellow contact-personality Kim Zolciak has been filming... something. (Elsewhere in Bravo-land, Shereè Whitfield is the subject of an online petition urging Bravo to resign her as a housewife. So far, it has 692 signatures.)

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Behold, Atlanta's shiny new film office!

Posted By on Tue, Jul 2, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Department would streamline permit process to shoot in the city, help mitigate neighborhood impacts
  • Joeff Davis/CL File
  • Department would streamline permit process to shoot in the city, help mitigate neighborhood impacts

After several years of discussion, Atlanta will finally get its long-awaited film office.

The Atlanta City Council yesterday voted 11 to 2 to create the city's Office of Entertainment, which will soon help City Hall deal with the booming film industry.

As we wrote last week, the new film office's main responsibilities will include streamlining the permitting process for movies made in the city and establishing a point of contact for residents to voice concerns about local productions.

The legislation survived an earlier motion by Councilwoman Yolanda Adrean that would've tabled the bill for two weeks so that some of the Neighborhood Planning Units in her district would be able to further vet the new office. Councilwoman Joyce Sheperd agreed, adding that they "should've taken the time to get it right."

But momentum to get the office up and running - following years of delays - overtook the cries for caution. Councilman Michael Julian Bond illustrated the urgency for the office by describing an incident last week where traffic from a movie production created "havoc in the community" while the ordinance was being debated in committee.

Bond, with the ordinance set to pass, stressed that the bill could still be tweaked down the road if needed.

"It's written on paper, not written in stone," Councilman Bond said. "So if there is something that needs to be changed ... we can certainly do that, virtually at any time."

CL has reached out to Mayor Reed's staff to find more information regarding the office. We'll post an update once we hear back.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

'LUV' takes 11 year-old on tour of Baltimore mean streets

Posted By on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 1:33 PM

WAITING FOR THE MAN: Michael Rainey Jr and Common are in LUV. (But not in a weird way.)
A "Take Your Nephew To Work Day" scenario turns as dangerous as Training Day in the stealthy, surprising LUV, directed and co-written by Sheldon Candis. The compelling drama challenges clichés of African-American criminality in major U.S. cities and builds up enough narrative momentum to keep some ridiculous plot points from slowing it down.

An outlandishly eventful 24 hours unfolds from the point of view of Woody (the impressive Michael Rainey Jr.), an 11 year old boy growing up in Baltimore under his grandmother's watchful eye. His dapper Uncle Vincent (Common) offers to drive Woody to school one day, then impulsively changes his mind to bring the boy along on his day's big errands. Vincent wants to teach Woody how to be a man, which involves wearing a tailored suit, cracking crab shells, making eye contact while shaking hands, learning to drive a car and firing a gun.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Catching up with Georgia filmmaker John Henry Summerour whose debut feature Sahkanaga opens at the Plaza

Posted By on Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 8:55 AM

John Henry Summerour: Do you like movies?
  • Photo: Caryn Waechter
  • John Henry Summerour: Do you like movies?

John Henry Summerour's award-winning film Sahkanaga opens tonight for a one-week theatrical run in Atlanta's Plaza Theatre, and Brooklyn's ReRun Theater. Shot and set in the Georgia town where the filmmaker grew up, Sahkanaga is based on a disturbing, embarrassing, and confounding real-life incident involving hundreds of rotting unburied cadavers discovered in a crematory.

Whereas so many Georgia filmmakers might have used this incident as the jumping-off point for a sensationalist Zombieland-style yarn (we are Zombie central, after all), John Henry Summerour takes a matter-of-fact tone that eschews sensationalism in favor of tepid realism, embracing the story's enigmatic qualities.

It is an ambitious, accomplished debut that hands Summerour the Southern Gothic art house mantle David Gordon Green left behind when jumped the Pineapple Express to the multiplex.

On the eve of the film's theatrical debut, we caught up with Summerour to ask some questions. In the coming week, he'll be dividing his time between Atlanta and Brooklyn to appear at screenings and answer your questions. (He's slated to do a Q&A with actress Kristin Rievley at the Plaza on Saturday, December 8 at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 9 at 7:15 p.m.)

1. Give us the "elevator pitch" for Sahkanaga.

I grew up in northwest Georgia where over 300 bodies were discovered dumped on the property of a crematory in 2002. I went home and developed the film as an outreach project, imagining the story from the perspective of a teenager who finds the first body and casting local, non-professional actors in an effort to give ownership of the story back to the community....Do you like movies?....Is this your floor?

Its pronounced sock-uh-NOG-uh
  • Courtesy of Gran Gran Pics
  • It's pronounced "sock-uh-NOG-uh"

2. Working with a non-professional cast is an extremely risky strategy, especially for a debut feature. As someone who's acted professionally, and with contacts in the industry, what inspired you to use locals, many of whom had a direct tie to the actual story?

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Film Clips: Killing Them Softly

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 2:08 PM


Brad Pitt does the mobs dirty work
  • Brad Pitt does the mob's dirty work

THE COLLECTION: (R) Elena thinks she is going to a secret party at an undisclosed location with her friends, but things go sour for Elena when she is kidnapped by the collector. Elena wakes up to find herself in a twisted "Saw"-esque hotel that is a maze of torture and horror. This 'Collector' is a sadistic psychopath, and when Elena's father hears of her capture he sends a group of mercenaries to retrieve her. The mercenaries turn to the help of Arkin, the only person to ever escape the clutches of the collector, to help save Elena. Facing the most horrific experience of his life again, Arkin's fate becomes tied to Elena's as it becomes clear he might not escape alive again.

HOLY MOTORS: (NR), 4 Stars. This film is an epic, genre-shifting movie that follows a man being driven around in a limousine to nine different appointments in Paris. At each of these appointments he is a completely different person, and perhaps Curt Holman put it best writing, the film "follows dream logic rather than the usual rules of film. "

KILLING THEM SOFTLY: (R) When the mob needs help, they don't turn to the police for help, they call Cogan. Played by Brad Pitt, Cogan is a smooth-talking, killer that cleans up messes when the mob can't. After a group of men try to rob a mob-protected card game, they send the entire local crime economy spinning out of control. The mob calls on Cogan for help, and its up to him and his gun to set things right in this thrilling flick.


ANNA KARENINA: (R), 3 stars, Russian author Leo Tolstoy's novel is adapted to the screen, with Jude Law and Keira Knightley. A Russian socialite, Karenina, is trapped in a loveless marriage and strays to a young attractive count. But when social circles and friends begin to shun Anna, she starts to question if her true love is worth it. UA TARA, 2345 Cheshire Bridge Road

THE BIRDS: (PG-13) Perhaps one of Hitchcock's most recognizable films, a flock of rabid birds terrorizes a small town by the bay. Classic Hitchcock, this film can justify anyone's Ornithophobia, which is the fear of birds.Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce De Leon

MIAMI CONNECTION: (NR) Martial arts-trained rock band Dragon Sound play hit 80's rock music and fight crime, and they decide they have had enough of the motorcycle ninjas that control Florida's cocaine trade. As Dragon Sound tries to put a stop to the motorcycle ninjas, this movie gets borderline absurd. The above trailer is pretty explanatory, so 80's its ridiculous.Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce De Leon

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